1 Corinthians 10
Arrogance, Serial Dating, & The Joyful Duty of Man
Sunday, Jeth Looney wrapped up part 3 of Finding True Freedom, where we focused on 1 Corinthians 10. A good father lovingly corrects their child when they act in immaturity, so too, Paul continued to warn and correct the young Corinthian church of the dangers involved with exercising their freedoms.
The Danger of Arrogance [vs. 1-13] Paul moved the Corinthians through an Israelite history lesson. The Israelites had experienced redemption, baptism, and communion, because the Israelites had allowed their liberties to lead them to a place of overconfidence and God was not pleased with them. Paul warned the Corinthians of the danger of arrogance in exercising their freedoms and the Israelite’s example was for their instruction [vs.11]. Our liberty should never lead us past the Gospel. We must not place overconfidence in our freedoms in and of itself, because the moment we do our freedoms will lead us to a place of temptation.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. - 1 Corinthians 10:13
Jeth pointed out several realities about temptation according to the text.
- Temptation is not from God.
- Temptation is not sin, unless you give in to it.
- Temptation can be used by God for our Sanctification, therefore we must endure it, which may be the escape pattern.
- Temptation can be a test from Satan to induce a fall into sin.
- God is faithful to empower us according to where we are in the road of Sanctification.
If we succumb to temptation it leads to…
Serial Dating [vs. 14-22] Paul was now addressing the Corinthians that had allowed their overconfidence to lead them beyond temptation to actual sinning. Paul commands the Corinthians to think wisely and flee from idolatry. The Corinthians had taken the covenantal relationship the Gospel freed them to enjoy with God the Father to a place of compromise, because of their relationships with idols. We can allow our liberty to lead us to unfaithfulness in the covenantal relationship with God. Jeth explained that idolatry was taking a good thing and making it a god thing or supreme thing in our lives. We cannot participate in multiple relationships and be wholly faithful to our relationship with God. Listen to what Job wrote,
“If I have made gold my trust or called fine gold my confidence, if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant or because my hand had found much, if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand, this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above. - Job 31:24-28
The question naturally arises of how can I know I am enslaved to idolatry?
- You’re crushed when you don’t get what you want.
- You stake your happiness on getting what you want.
- You grumble and complain when you don’t have what you want.
- You demand what you want.
Ultimately, we must remember our unfaithfulness to God is offensive.
Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? - 1 Corinthians 10:22
The Joyful Duty of Man [vs. 23-32] Paul concluded the subject of liberty with reminding the Corinthians what the purpose of their freedom was actually for. Jeth shared that our freedom should never be at the expense of fulfilling our joyful duty of glorifying God as an image bearer. Our liberty must provide edification and not our own personal gratification; therefore, a 'putting others first mentality' must be at the heart of exercising our liberties.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31
The message can be summed up in the following statement regarding exercising wisdom in use of our freedoms:
I must not enjoy liberty more than I enjoy the one who gave me liberty, namely Jesus.